If industrial and institutional labourers in Bharat boast of their rights, it is due to the efforts of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar who fought for their welfare
The Department of Labour was established in the year November 1937 and Dr Ambedkar took over the Labour portfolio in July 1942. The policy formulation and planning for the development of irrigation and electric power was the major concern. It was the Labour Department, under the guidance of Dr Ambedkar, that decided to establish “Central Technical Power Board” (CTPB) for power system development, hydel power station sites, hydro-electric surveys, analysing problems of electricity generation and thermal power station investigation.
Be it the founding guidelines of RBI or the principles governing any other aspect of the economy, Dr Ambedkar has given the best, the country could ever have had.
|Babasahab Ambedkar was instrumental in formulating several laws and introduced beneficiary provisions for labourers
It was Dr Ambedkar who brought in the 8-hour working day to Bharat, bringing it down from 14 hours. He brought it in the 7th session of Indian Labour Conference in New Delhi, on November 27, 1942.
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar framed many laws for women workers in Bharat such as ‘Mines Maternity Benefit Act’, ‘Women Labour Welfare Fund’, ‘Women and Child Labour Protection Act’, ‘Maternity Benefit for Women Labour’, and ‘Restoration of Ban on Employment of Women on Underground Work in Coal Mines’.
Employees State Insurance (ESI) helps workers with medical care, medical leave, physical disability caused due to injuries sustained during work, workmen's compensation and for the provision of various facilities. India was the first nation among East Asian countries to bring Insurance Act for the well-being of employees.
‘Dearness Allowance’ (DA), ‘Leave Benefit’, ‘Revision of Scale of Pay’ that we enjoy today are due to Dr Ambedkar.
Dr Ambedkar’s contribution towards ‘Coal and Mica Mines Provident Fund’ was also vital. At the time, coal industry played an important role in our country's economy. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar enacted the Coal Mines Safety (Stowing) Amendment Bill for the benefit of the workers on January 31, 1944. On April 8, 1946, he brought the ‘Mica Mines Labour Welfare Fund’ that helped the workers with housing, water supply, education, entertainment, co-operative arrangements. Further, he helped set up an advisory committee to advise on important matters arising out of the ‘Labour Welfare Fund’ under the guidance of BP Agarkar. Later he promulgated it on January, 1944.
As Labour Member of the Viceroy’s Council, Dr Ambedkar initiated programmes to increase the productivity of workers, by providing them with education and important skills required for performing better jobs, health care and maternity leave provisions for women workers. Dr Ambedkar set up the ‘Tripartite Labour Council’ in 1942 to safeguard social security measures for the workers, giving equal opportunity to the workers and employers to participate in the formulation of labour policy and strengthening the labour movement by introducing compulsory recognition of trade unions and workers’organisations.
Dr Ambedkar emphasised on the significance and need for the ‘Grid System’, in the power sector which is working successfully even today. If today power engineers are going abroad for training, the credit once again goes to Dr Ambedkar again, who as a leader of Labour Department formulated policy to train the best engineers overseas.
Labour was placed in the ‘Concurrent List’, ‘Chief and Labour Commissioners’ were appointed, the ‘Labour Investigation Committee’ was formed – credit for all these goes to Dr Ambedkar. ‘Minimum Wages Act’ was Dr Ambedkar’s contribution so was the ‘Maternity Benefit Bill’, empowering women workers. If there are ‘Employment Exchanges’ in Bharat today, it is because of Dr Ambedkar’s vision. If workers can go on strike for their rights, it is because of Babasaheb Ambedkar—he had clearly recognised the ‘Right to Strike’ by the workers. On November 8, 1943 Dr Ambedkar brought the ‘Indian Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill’ for compulsory recognition of trade unions. Dr Ambedkar maintained that depressed classes should play an important role in economic development of the country. If workers in Bharat do have rights, it is because of Dr Ambedkar’s hard work and his fight for all of us.